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post #1 of 58 Old 06-20-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys,

March, 2011 I had started this thread (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1319438/sandy-bridge-3d-htpc-build) to help me build my first, a Sandy Bridge HTPC capable of full Blu-ray 3D Playback. 2 years and change down the road, I'm about ready to build my 2nd, a slightly more powerful HTPC. We're moving the SB-HTPC into the bedroom and I need to build a newer one for the main Home Theater.

My budget is around $800, which does not include storage, except for a 128GB SSD (For Operating System), as I already have 6 X 2TB HDD's which contain my media. So essentially the $800 is going to contain the CPU, Motherboard, Case, PSU & Memory. I might be cramping in a TV Tuner in there.

Although I have a good grasp on most of the components, I'm somewhat debating whether to go for the Haswell chip's Intel HD 4600 GPU as my main GPU, or if I should actually go for a dedicated Video Card. I know that Intel HD 4600 is "enough" for 3D Blu-ray Playback; but I can easily scale back the CPU Model and spend $80 ~ $90 on a very decent NVidia or AMD GPU far more powerful then Intel HD 4600.

I have the Epson 5010 Projector and currently I'm projecting a 106" Screen, which might be expanding to a 150" soon.

My SB-HTPC in '11 was a 'Starter' HTPC as it was my first one, and I was only concerned with media playback & full 3D Blu-ray Playback. Now that I have stronger budget and better all around Home Theater equipment, I'm definitely looking for the best Video/3D playback I can get -- and if that is served better with a dedicated GTX or Radeon as opposed to Intel HD 4600, then that's what I'd like to do.

Any comments / suggestions?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 58 Old 06-20-2013, 06:38 PM
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Silverstone Case
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That should come in under $800 and be really nice. You have room for a HD tuner. I'd get Ceton internal or HD HomeRun Prime network tuner.

You'd have a super nice HTPC.

If you want links let me know.

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post #3 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 02:56 AM
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Adding a dedicated GTX or Radeon is a moot point. You will get better PQ than Intel HD Graphics only when you use

- An external player + madVR + HD 7770 / GTX 650 Ti (or higher).

Details.
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post #4 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

That should come in under $800 and be really nice. You have room for a HD tuner. I'd get Ceton internal or HD HomeRun Prime network tuner.

You'd have a super nice HTPC.

If you want links let me know.

Wow -- Those are some nice suggestions; closely matching what I had in mind.

Some comments ...

Rosewill / Seasonic / MKIII/ Antec / Corsair PSU (400-500 watts )
Actually I wouldn't mind if you did share a link with me; PSU is one part I usually rely on suggestions as I don't have too much personal knowledge - and usually the recommendations work out very well for me.

Intel i5 4670k
That was my exact choice smile.gif

Gskill Trident 2400mhz DDR3 8GB
Again, GSkill is usually what I go for; mostly the Ripjaws, but I'll look at Trident.

Samsung 840 / Vertex4 or 450 / Vector / Plextor M5 SSD
Perfect! Will check out all of these. Cost might decide which one I go with.

Asrock Extreme 4 mobo
My last motherboard was a Gigabyte and I have to be honest, I wasn't too thrilled. I have had very good experience with ASUS and for this build I did have it narrowed down to ASRock & ASUS. Is there any reason you picked ASRock over ASUS?

Silverstone Case
Case is the one component I'm putting in a little more research; both wife & I are looking for something cool to compliment the Home Theater. Silverstone is definitely in the running with the Granadia & LC lineup, but I'm also looking at some other options like Fractal-Designs, Moneual MonCaso, Streacom, etc. All of these have some nice, cool designs. The only issue so far I'm having with these other cases is the Internal Drive Bays - I need a minimum of 6 and would prefer 8. So far Silverstone is the only one fulfilling that - all others are dropping short. But I'll look a little further.

For TV Tuner I was looking at Hauppauge; is there a reason you recommend Ceton or HomeRun? I don't have any experience with either of those. I do have a Hauppauge Colossus HD-DVR Capture card which will be going into this HTPC for recording cable programs in HD.

And that brings me to my last issue ... still undecided between Intel HD 4600 as my GPU or getting a dedicated GTX/Radeon!

Thanks!

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post #5 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Adding a dedicated GTX or Radeon is a moot point. You will get better PQ than Intel HD Graphics only when you use

- An external player + madVR + HD 7770 / GTX 650 Ti (or higher).

Details.

I have to be honest with you, I looked at the thread you linked but I couldn't understand anything - I'm definitely not as technically advanced as some of you are. I really couldn't understand the values or the technical terms and so couldn't really deduce what it was explaining. I don't even know what "madVR" means!

So let me ask you this - in layman's terms, do you recommend an HD 7770 or GTX 650 Ti over the Intel HD 4600 for the HTPC? And if yes, Why? What advantage do I get in terms of Media Playback? Do I get better PQ? Better 3D?

Thanks!!

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post #6 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 09:16 AM
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If your not technical you will be fine with 1080p via 4670k. It's nearly perfect frame rate. If you desire MADVR or SVP or any of the other add ons your 4670k CPU should be up to the task and adding a GPU card at a later date is easy.

Unless your certain you want it now I'd hold off on the GPU card but I'd chose a case that could allow that upgrade in future.

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post #7 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 09:18 AM
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MadVR is a video renderer that includes a video scaler running on GPU. Perhaps you usually use EVR (Enhanced Video Renderer) built in Windows, that uses GPU driver's scaling algorithm via DXVA2. MadVR is usually better than EVR to upscale SD / HD (1280x720) contents, but there is little difference between them when you play back FHD (1920x1080) 2D. MadVR does not support 3D. I think the difference in upscaling DVD is clear between Intel HD Graphics 4600 and madVR Level4/5 in this post.

MadVR runs its scaling algorithms on GPU. The highest algorithm requires some GPU processing power, HD 7770 or GTX 650 Ti is minimum.
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post #8 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 09:27 AM
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I might add to the SSD recommendations that all those are great except for the 840, 840 Pro is great but the Basic version I wouldn't bother with.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/samsung-840-pro_5.html#sect1
Generally it's worse than the previous gen 830. It's not bad by all means but just not worth it.
For big file storage (not sure you'd use a SSD for that though considering cost per GB) it'd be good but since I believe you'd use the SSD for OS drive then the random read/write matters a lot.
When the request queue's build up the 840 Pro just accelerates away leaving the Basic version biting the dust.
Then there's of course the question of TLC and it's degradation. For normal OS use I doubt it matters much but still, the TLC cells do die faster than MLC.
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4178/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion
Quote:
The first SSD, the one you could follow live on the stream, had its first re-allocated sector on May 22, after 2,945 program/erase cycles and 707 TiB of written data according to the S.M.A.R.T. data. That's quite remarkable, as Samsung guarantees a lifespan of 1,000 cycles, while in reality their SSD last three times longer.

707TiB of writes rolleyes.gif My 1½ yr old Intel 520 Series 60GB has 4.8TiB of writes right now. Non issue like you can see from the hardware.info torture test but I for myself would buy something that's better rolleyes.gif
Quote:
If we take the 764 TiB and an average of 10 GiB of writes per day, we arrive at a lifespan of 214 years. Keep in mind that we sequentially write and fill the SSD which gives us write amplification factor of only 1.04 or 1.05. That's the difference between the write commands sent to the SSD and the writes executed by the SSD internally. The general assumption is a WAF of around 3.0 for normal consumer use with SSDs that don't employ compression tricks. That translates to a lifespan of 75 years. Even when you push an SSD to the max by downloading lots of movies everyday up to an average of 30 GiB per day, the SSD will still last you 24 years. Nomatter how you use it, it will last longer than the period you plan on using it (most people like to add more capacity after a certain time). A functional lifespan of 10 years is already unusually high for a storage medium.

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post #9 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagittaja View Post

I might add to the SSD recommendations that all those are great except for the 840, 840 Pro is great but the Basic version I wouldn't bother with.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/samsung-840-pro_5.html#sect1
Generally it's worse than the previous gen 830. It's not bad by all means but just not worth it.

It's better than most for $99, but I'd take a vertex or vector at same price.

The pro and the vector are clearly better and in a class of their own but I'm not sure the difference is a big deal for a HTPC.

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post #10 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 09:39 AM
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Yeah of course. Also I updated my post a bit.

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post #11 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 10:47 AM
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Regarding MadVR,

You'll have to decide for yourself if you want or require this functionality in your HTPC. Many people do not require it.

If you do then add a GPU card like Renethx suggested above. It should add in well and work well with the type of system your looking at.

Many are happy with simple players integrated into WMC or XBMC- Other people require more.

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post #12 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

MadVR is a video renderer that includes a video scaler running on GPU. Perhaps you usually use EVR (Enhanced Video Renderer) built in Windows, that uses GPU driver's scaling algorithm via DXVA2. MadVR is usually better than EVR to upscale SD / HD (1280x720) contents, but there is little difference between them when you play back FHD (1920x1080) 2D. MadVR does not support 3D. I think the difference in upscaling DVD is clear between Intel HD Graphics 4600 and madVR Level4/5 in this post.

MadVR runs its scaling algorithms on GPU. The highest algorithm requires some GPU processing power, HD 7770 or GTX 650 Ti is minimum.

Ah! That explains it much better. I'm quite convinced now about taking the dedicated GPU route at this point. I do have quite a bit of SD and 720p HD Content (TV Shows mostly) which could benefit from MadVR. Aside from that, doing some more research, there is a lot of suggestion out there for dedicated GTX or Radeon over Intel HD even for 3D Blu-ray. The cost isn't significant enough to pass up on MadVR or other benefits of dedicated GPU.

Which brings me to a question: between Radeon HD 7770 & GFX 650 Ti, both running round $149, which one would be a better choice for 3D Blu-ray Playback & other media playback?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lagittaja View Post

I might add to the SSD recommendations that all those are great except for the 840, 840 Pro is great but the Basic version I wouldn't bother with.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/samsung-840-pro_5.html#sect1
Generally it's worse than the previous gen 830. It's not bad by all means but just not worth it.
For big file storage (not sure you'd use a SSD for that though considering cost per GB) it'd be good but since I believe you'd use the SSD for OS drive then the random read/write matters a lot.
When the request queue's build up the 840 Pro just accelerates away leaving the Basic version biting the dust.
Then there's of course the question of TLC and it's degradation. For normal OS use I doubt it matters much but still, the TLC cells do die faster than MLC.
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4178/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion
707TiB of writes rolleyes.gif My 1½ yr old Intel 520 Series 60GB has 4.8TiB of writes right now. Non issue like you can see from the hardware.info torture test but I for myself would buy something that's better rolleyes.gif

Those are all great suggestions & I'll keep this in mind when hunting down my SSD. I won't be using SSD's for media storage; I have a whole bunch of 2TB SATAIII 6.0Gb/s drives for that - and plan to expand the same. SSD is only going to be for my OS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Regarding MadVR,

You'll have to decide for yourself if you want or require this functionality in your HTPC. Many people do not require it.

If you do then add a GPU card like Renethx suggested above. It should add in well and work well with the type of system your looking at.

Many are happy with simple players integrated into WMC or XBMC- Other people require more.

Pretty much decided on dedicated GPU at this point; just trying to narrow down between GFX 650 Ti or Radeon HD 7770. These 2 cards are pretty similarly priced ... contemplating between either:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121725
.OR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121772

Although I'm open to other suggestions as well.

Thanks guys.

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post #13 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 12:13 PM
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If you plan to use SVP then better to pick up a HD 7770. More of that in the SVP thread, on erm page 10 iirc.

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post #14 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 12:41 PM
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Personally I recommend ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II ("DC2") 1GB or 2GB (choose 2GB if you can afford, there is no difference in video playback though), that should fit GD07/GD08 (won't fit most microATX cases because of taller heatpipes).
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post #15 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Personally I recommend ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II ("DC2") 1GB or 2GB (choose 2GB if you can afford, there is no difference in video playback though), that should fit GD07/GD08 (won't fit most microATX cases because of taller heatpipes).

The master has spoken^

No one has tested these things as much as him. I am looking at the same GPU card myself actually , or possibly even a 78xx.

I just installed my 6870 (older card) into my 4770k last night and it made a nice difference and sold me on why I need a GPU over HD4600.

I love your build. Your building a real HTPC, unlike many of the low budget builds that are really to just watch videos from your PC on your TV. Your budget is very realistic and I think your going to end up with a really nice machine!
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post #16 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Personally I recommend ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II ("DC2") 1GB or 2GB (choose 2GB if you can afford, there is no difference in video playback though), that should fit GD07/GD08 (won't fit most microATX cases because of taller heatpipes).

GPU is going to be the main component in this system, as it's all about the Media, Graphics & 3D, so I have no hesitations in spending the extra $$'s on the GPU - as Mfusick notes below, I don't even mind upping to HD 78xx. But, here's an important question, and you must take this question as a humble question from someone who's in a learning process, and not Questioning your choice ...

Why Radeon over GTX? What is the deciding factor that makes you lean towards Radeon over GTX?
One of the reasons I ask is because I was just spending some time reading articles here & there, and I also put in "GTX 650 vs Radeon 7770" in google and it appears that more benchmarking & reviewing articles were giving a "slight" upper hand to GTX over Radeon. So I'm curious about your recommendation.

Let me also throw something completely different in the mix; this will NOT be a deciding factor & I could care less about this, but I'd still like to mention it. I'm a HUGE StarCraft gamer. I keep gaming on my PC and I have no intentions of bringing it to my HTPC. However, I was reading an article where they were playing StarCraft 2 on their HTPC, on a Projector Screen, in 3D. And it got me curious enough to think I'll probably give it a shot --- not to game constantly --- but just to try it out.

Would Radeon still be the better choice?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The master has spoken^

No one has tested these things as much as him. I am looking at the same GPU card myself actually , or possibly even a 78xx.

I just installed my 6870 (older card) into my 4770k last night and it made a nice difference and sold me on why I need a GPU over HD4600.

I love your build. Your building a real HTPC, unlike many of the low budget builds that are really to just watch videos from your PC on your TV. Your budget is very realistic and I think your going to end up with a really nice machine!

Your exploration definitely Confirms my decision of going with a dedicated GPU over Intel integrated; I'm glad now I'm choosing this path.

And thank you, I'm also very excited about this machine and can't wait to get started. For the right parts, I don't mind if my $800 budget pushes to $1K, I definitely do want the best Media Playback capabilities. I use MediaPortal as my front-end which gives me a lot of a Internet content via Tube+, etc. So it's really a whole bunch of media from Blu-ray's to MKV's to DVD's, TV Shows and Online Videos. And Like I said before, we're looking for something cool & hip in terms of the actual Chassis, something that will complement our Home Theater well, and not just a simple case that will hold the parts.

Thanks!

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post #17 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 01:40 PM
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I seriously doubt you need more power than what HD7790 or GTX 650Ti has to offer. Except if you're planning to do some gaming.

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post #18 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 01:45 PM
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I think you can use SVP on youtube videos.... It's pretty cool actually.

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post #19 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 01:51 PM
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Yeah you can. Certain music videos look hell of a lot better with SVP. But you need to stream the Youtube to a player, like MPC-HC.

Also mickey79, remember when you're comparing that the GTX 650 doesn't stand a chance against a 7790, nor to a 7770. At least for gaming perf.
You gotta compare HD7770/7790 to GTX 650Ti and HD7850 to GTX 650Ti Boost.

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post #20 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Personally I recommend ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II ("DC2") 1GB or 2GB (choose 2GB if you can afford, there is no difference in video playback though), that should fit GD07/GD08 (won't fit most microATX cases because of taller heatpipes).

GPU is going to be the main component in this system, as it's all about the Media, Graphics & 3D, so I have no hesitations in spending the extra $$'s on the GPU - as Mfusick notes below, I don't even mind upping to HD 78xx. But, here's an important question, and you must take this question as a humble question from someone who's in a learning process, and not Questioning your choice ...

Why Radeon over GTX? What is the deciding factor that makes you lean towards Radeon over GTX?
One of the reasons I ask is because I was just spending some time reading articles here & there, and I also put in "GTX 650 vs Radeon 7770" in google and it appears that more benchmarking & reviewing articles were giving a "slight" upper hand to GTX over Radeon. So I'm curious about your recommendation.

Let me also throw something completely different in the mix; this will NOT be a deciding factor & I could care less about this, but I'd still like to mention it. I'm a HUGE StarCraft gamer. I keep gaming on my PC and I have no intentions of bringing it to my HTPC. However, I was reading an article where they were playing StarCraft 2 on their HTPC, on a Projector Screen, in 3D. And it got me curious enough to think I'll probably give it a shot --- not to game constantly --- but just to try it out.

Would Radeon still be the better choice?

What I like about Radeon are:

1. Precise 23.976Hz refresh rate right out of the box (with NVIDIA you will need to create a custom resolution)
2. Support for full-range and limited-range RGB as well as 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 YCbCr output (with NVIDIA you will need to run madNvLevelsTweaker.exe and restart the system to switch between full-range and limited-range RGB)
3. 3D is easier (with NVIDIA you have to go through a set of 3D tests [necessary for 3D Vision, but unnecessary for HDMI 1.4a 3D]; 3D will mess up the newly created "23.976Hz")
4. Both madVR and SVP work better with Radeon. In gaming GTX 650 Ti is better than HD 7770, but in video playback with madVR / SVP + madVR, HD 7770 is better (lower GPU usage, lower power consumption)

What I don't like about Radeon are:

1. Dual (actually up to six) audio stream work only when DisplayPort is used. But dual audio stream matters only when you play HDMI 1.4a 3D with a HDMI 1.3 AVR.

You can play games in 3D with either AMD or NVIDIA. Output resolution is restricted to 1280x720, however (because of HDMI 1.4a). AMD requires TriDef 3D Middleware ($50) / NVIDIA requires 3DTV Play ($40), to convert standard PC games to 3D.
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post #21 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 04:25 PM
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You just sold me on a Radeon card. Wondering if I should get that Asus 7790 2GB or perhaps look into a 78xx ??

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post #22 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

What I like about Radeon are:

1. Precise 23.976Hz refresh rate right out of the box (with NVIDIA you will need to create a custom resolution)
2. Support for full-range and limited-range RGB as well as 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 YCbCr output (with NVIDIA you will need to run madNvLevelsTweaker.exe and restart the system to switch between full-range and limited-range RGB)
3. 3D is easier (with NVIDIA you have to go through a set of 3D tests [necessary for 3D Vision, but unnecessary for HDMI 1.4a 3D]; 3D will mess up the newly created "23.976Hz")
4. Both madVR and SVP work better with Radeon. In gaming GTX 650 Ti is better than HD 7770, but in video playback with madVR / SVP + madVR, HD 7770 is better (lower GPU usage, lower power consumption)

What I don't like about Radeon are:

1. Dual (actually up to six) audio stream work only when DisplayPort is used. But dual audio stream matters only when you play HDMI 1.4a 3D with a HDMI 1.3 AVR.

You can play games in 3D with either AMD or NVIDIA. Output resolution is restricted to 1280x720, however (because of HDMI 1.4a). AMD requires TriDef 3D Middleware ($50) / NVIDIA requires 3DTV Play ($40), to convert standard PC games to 3D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You just sold me on a Radeon card. Wondering if I should get that Asus 7790 2GB or perhaps look into a 78xx ??

LOL -- I was just going to type EXACTLY what Mfusick just said - you SOLD me on the Radeon as well. Enough said.

That being the case, I'm going to start scouting prices - we have a Fry's down the road which most of the time will beat Newegg's prices. I'll be comparing both 77xx's & 78xx's and seeing if I can score a good deal and pick up the better card at a good price.

I must thank you, renethx, for all the wealth of information & time you spared to explain all this to me.

The system is starting to take shape:

To buy ...
Intel i5-4670K
Asus or Asrock Z87 Motherboard (Still researching)
Rosewill or Corsair PSU (Still researching)
G.Skill Trident 2400 Mhz 8GB DDR3
Silverstone Granadia or LC (Still exploring other designs -- Moneual MonCaso, Streacom, Fractal-Designs)
AMD HD Radeon 7790 or 78xx (Still researching)
TV Tuner (Still Researching)
128 GB SSD (Will pick from list above)

Already have ...
6 X 2TB SATAIII 6.0Gb/s HDD's
Intel Gigabit PCI-Express Network Adapter (Used as 2nd NIC in the system)
Hauppauge Colossus HD DVR Capture Card
Toshiba HD-DVD Drive (Used as CD/DVD/HD-DVD Optical Drive)

7.1: Polk RTi12 Fronts, RTi8 Surrounds, Monitor70 Surround Backs, CSi A6 Center + Outlaw LFM-1 EX Subwoofer.
Yamaha RX-A2000 AVR
Epson 5010 3D Projector
Intel Sandy Bridge 3D HTPC / Blu-ray Player
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post #23 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 04:44 PM
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Right now 7790 is powerful enough. 7850/7870 is future-proofing in that madVR may add more complex algorithms in future. 7870 is roughly 1.5x more powerful than 7850, so personally I would go with 7870. 7850 consumes 20W more power with SVP+madVR (~150W system power vs 130W of HD 7770). One of the quietest HD 7870 cards is PowerColor, $270 ($240 AR).

HD 7970 is 4K-ready in that it supports madVR Level 5 for all SD/HD/FHD/4K UHD contents in a 4K UHD screen. But SVP for 4K contents is out of question right now (SVP has to move to 64-bit first). ASUS DirectCu II is the quietest.
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SVP on 4k eek.gif

I can imagine what that's going to take. I'll probably have to upgrade my i7 I just bought.

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post #25 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Right now 7790 is powerful enough. 7850/7870 is future-proofing in that madVR may add more complex algorithms in future. 7870 is roughly 1.5x more powerful than 7850, so personally I would go with 7870. 7850 consumes 20W more power with SVP+madVR (~150W system power vs 130W of HD 7770). One of the quietest HD 7870 cards is PowerColor, $270 ($240 AR).

HD 7970 is 4K-ready in that it supports madVR Level 5 for all SD/HD/FHD/4K UHD contents in a 4K UHD screen. But SVP for 4K contents is out of question right now (SVP has to move to 64-bit first). ASUS DirectCu II is the quietest.

Well, I definitely don't need a 4K-Ready GPU right now, LOL.

In terms of 7790 / 7850 / 7870 ... the price difference between 7790 & 7850 is negligible ... around $20, so that's almost a no-brainer. I would more then likely going be going with a 7850 and have some madVR future-proofing available to me. Unfortunately 7870 puts me above $200 (Unless a shell-shocker comes along), and I really wanted to spend no more then $160 ~ $190 on the GPU. So 99% I'll be going with a 7850 at this point.

Is there any manufacturer I should avoid? I've had a terrible experience with Sapphire so I usually avoid them. I see PowerColor, HIS, MSI, XFX, Gigabyte & ASUS as the majority players, with ASUS being my brand of choice - although the most expensive most of the time.

Thanks!

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post #26 of 58 Old 06-21-2013, 06:26 PM
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XFX Double D FX-785A-CDFC 2GB
XFX Double D FX-785A-ZDF4 1GB

are surely one of the quietest.
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post #27 of 58 Old 06-24-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys,

Couple of quick question:

I'm having a hard time deciding between these 2 motherboards ...

ASRock Extreme6: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157371
ASUS Z87-PLUS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131980

Both are exactly the same cost! I've never owned an ASRock before but have heard nothing but good things about it. On the other hand, every single motherboard I've ever owned (except once) has been an ASUS and I have had nothing but great experience with each. So I'm completely undecided here.

Any advice?

Thanks!

7.1: Polk RTi12 Fronts, RTi8 Surrounds, Monitor70 Surround Backs, CSi A6 Center + Outlaw LFM-1 EX Subwoofer.
Yamaha RX-A2000 AVR
Epson 5010 3D Projector
Intel Sandy Bridge 3D HTPC / Blu-ray Player
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post #28 of 58 Old 06-24-2013, 07:27 PM
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I've owned a few XFX Radeon cards and I've always been happy with them.

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post #29 of 58 Old 06-24-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Right now 7790 is powerful enough. 7850/7870 is future-proofing in that madVR may add more complex algorithms in future. 7870 is roughly 1.5x more powerful than 7850, so personally I would go with 7870. 7850 consumes 20W more power with SVP+madVR (~150W system power vs 130W of HD 7770). One of the quietest HD 7870 cards is PowerColor, $270 ($240 AR).

HD 7970 is 4K-ready in that it supports madVR Level 5 for all SD/HD/FHD/4K UHD contents in a 4K UHD screen. But SVP for 4K contents is out of question right now (SVP has to move to 64-bit first). ASUS DirectCu II is the quietest.

I thought 4K was going to require a new HDMI format. Maybe it was 4K @ 60 fps.
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post #30 of 58 Old 06-25-2013, 01:57 AM
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HDMI 1.4 supports 3840×2160 up to 30Hz. DisplayPort 1.2 and the upcoming HDMI 2.0 support frame rates beyond that.
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